Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Science and God...

Francis Collins, who headed the team of scientists that cracked the human gnome, writes that science cannot possibly disprove the existence of God. In his new book, The Language of God, he says that science in fact may help to prove His existence. The reason is that science studies the natural world. Collins described himself as an obnoxious atheist when he was in his twenties. But, now, in discovering the sequence of the human gnome, he sees God’s hand in it. In fact, he has come to believe that God takes a personal interest in each of us.

Science and theology are not opposed to each other. The Church teaches that they are complementary to each other. Science has the competence to study the material world and cannot answer fundamental questions such as “Why are we here?” or “What happens after we die?” For such answers we have to go to Someone else Who has revealed to us many things in his Revelation. Here, profound truths are opened before our eyes.

Misconceptions about the Church surface and float around from time to time. Falsely, some think that religion is against scientific knowledge. In fact, because the Church teaches that God is Truth, she has continually encouraged exploration and study. If one looks for the truth without prejudice, then it will eventually lead to openness to God’s existence and providence. This is why the Church has held and still holds study in high esteem. The reason why we have a knowledge of history through the dark ages is that the monks recorded history.

I conclude with an excerpt from another scientist Peter Hodgson:
Inherent in the Christian doctrine of creation is the belief that God freely chose to create the universe. He was not in any way constrained either to create it in the way that He did. It is therefore not a necessary universe in the sense that it had to be created or could have been created otherwise.... We can only hope to understand it by studying it and making experiments. Thus the Christian doctrine of creation encouraged the experimental method, essential for the development of science.

All ancient cultures held a cyclic view of the world, and this was one of the beliefs that hindered the development of science. This cyclic pessimism was decisively broken by the belief in the unique Incarnation of Christ; thereafter time and history became linear, with a beginning and an end.
  (Science and Belief in the Nuclear Age, Sapientia Press, Naples, Florida, 2005. P. 19.)

We can say that because of the Church we realized that the universe can be studied in order to arrive at truth. The truth stands on its own because of God. He cannot deceive. A scientific study of the universe He created will lead to Him.

Fr. Stanley